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Irish Coffee: Ray Allen’s microcosm of life 10.20.11 at 1:46 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Celtics guard Ray Allen and coach Doc Rivers are in Orlando, Fla. for the PGA Tour’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic pro-am on Thursday and Friday. ESPN.com golf writer Michael Collins interviewed Allen prior to a round with 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman. Here are 10 things we learned from the exchange:

  • Allen couldn’t have looked less interested to start the interview.
  • Though a scratch golfer, he’s not thinking about a professional golf career.
  • Tee shots in front of a gallery scare him more than an NBA Finals tip-off.
  • His lowest round ever: A 67 at Newton’s Charles River Country Club.
  • He sees golf as a microcosm of life.
  • He doesn’t have a favorite part of his game.
  • Sand shots are the worst part of his game.
  • Ball-striking is the best part of his game.
  • He’d like to see more trash talking in golf.
  • He’d like to see a fight between John Daly and Woody Austin.

“The next shot is the best shot — the most important shot.” Sounds like he takes the same approach to golf as he does in basketball. Speaking of which, three people who donated $4,500 to The Home For Little Wanderers earned the chance to play (read: “lose”) a game of H.O.R.S.E. with Allen in his driveway before his wife Shannon Allen prepares them a home-cooked meal. Good times.

Allen is the lone member of the Celtics’ Big Four not rumored among NBA players expected to participate in a two-week exhibition tour in Puerto Rico, London, Macau and Australia, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are expected to participate — and Kevin Garnett is reportedly mulling an offer to play — during the canceled first two weeks of the NBA season.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of respect the fact that Allen isn’t bothering with any of these exhibition games or sticking his nose in labor negotiations. He’s ready to play whenever the lockout lifts. Otherwise, he’ll be playing golf. “I can work out for basketball, but there are so many hours left in the day.” So Shuttlesworth.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Ray Allen, Celtics talk NBA lockout during workouts 09.15.11 at 11:48 am ET
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This NBA offseason of lockout talk has been anything but ordinary, but leave it to Ray Allen to maintain business as usual. Per usual at the end of each summer, the NBA 3-point king is practicing at his alma mater.

As you can see from the embedded video, the Celtics shooting guard knocked down shots on the regular in a shooting drill with the UConn men’s basketball team. And when he finally misses, he’s none too happy.

“I want to show them how to get into the rhythm,” Allen told The Hartford Courant. “the template of being a shooting guard.”

Allen and former Huskies teammate, longtime friend and Celtics commentator Donny Marshall arrived in Storrs, Conn., on Tuesday and are expected to work out with Jim Calhoun‘s team for the next few weeks. UConn alums Rudy Gay and Kemba Walker have also stopped by to practice at Guyer Gym this summer.

While this summer has been status quo for Allen, his fall plans seem destined to be disrupted, as NBA labor negotiations seemingly disintegrated during the latest collective bargaining session on Tuesday.

‘€œI’€™m optimistic,” Allen told Connecticut’s Journal Inquirer. “Both sides want to play basketball. Both sides want the same thing, for the game to grow, and to make it better for our fans. I purposely in my mind am expecting camp on the date I would normally expect it. That way, once I get to end of September, my body will at least be in a good place and I don’€™t have to worry about rushing it if it comes at the last minute.’€

Allen’s Tuesday workout reportedly lasted for several hours, after which he spoke to the current UConn squad for more than half an hour and signed autographs for onlooking fans. Then, the 1995-96 Big East Player of the Year spoke to reporters about his impressions of the current Huskies: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Jermaine O'Neal, Ray Allen
10 Things I Heard About Celtics VI 09.13.11 at 11:49 am ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’€™s still plenty to learn about Boston’€™s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘€œ10 Things I Heard About Celtics’€ IIIIIIIV and V) ‘€¦

10. After Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett participated in the Pros vs. G.I. Joes video gaming event to promote Call of Duty, a few interviews have emerged from the event. The embedded one by a dude in a Yankees hat from Machinima.com asks which member of the Celtics is the best video game player on the team.

‘€œI would say Big Baby,’€ Garnett said. ‘€œBig Baby [Glen Davis] is probably our best gamer, just because he plays a lot more than everybody else. He’€™s young, doesn’€™t really have a family yet, got all this extra time. You know, young boys, they find time to occupy themselves with gaming and other things. If I had to give it up, it would have to be Big Baby. Big Baby’€™s really good. He’€™s consistent with his play.’€

Of course, the 25-year-old Davis does have a daughter who just turned 1 year old on Sept. 2, so his gaming skills may have slipped since he last played against Garnett.

9. Exhibition games continue to fill Celtics restricted free agent forward Jeff Green‘€™s offseason schedule, as he’€™ll compete in the Clash of Superstars for charity in Washington D.C. on Saturday before a game between his Goodman League squad and an Indianapolis Pro-Am team on Sept. 24.

In this weekend’€™s game to benefit a local Boys & Girls Club, YMCA chapters and an area basketball academy, Green will join fellow NBA players Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Kemba Walker, James Harden, Greg Monroe, Corey Brewer, Jarrett Jack, Eric Maynor and Samardo Samuels.

Celtics first-round draft pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to join NBA performers Zach Randolph, Eric Gordon, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, Gordon Hayward and Lance Stephenson on the Indy Pro-Am team that will face a Goodman group led by Green, Durant, Wall, Cousins and Jack the following weekend.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post’€™s Michael Lee caught up with Green over the phone. The highlights:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Justin Bieber, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
10 Things I Heard About Celtics IV 08.30.11 at 12:26 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’€™s still plenty to learn about Boston’€™s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past few days (‘€œ10 Things I Heard About Celtics’€ III and III) ‘€¦

10. The success of the 1985-86 Celtics (67-15; 40-1 home; 15-3 playoffs) stemmed from not only talent but intellectualism, according to this recent NBA.com puff piece. The team featured six future NBA head coaches: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Rick Carlisle and Sam Vincent. Not to mention quote machine Bill Walton. Here’s what McHale and Walton had to say on the subject …

  • Kevin McHale: “We had a lot of guys on that team who really knew the game and understood what it took and what it meant to play it the right way. I kinda took it for granted, thinking that was the way everybody played, because I had been around guys with the Celtics where everyone understood that. I probably realized for the first time that it wasn’t that way everywhere when Danny Ainge told me that other people couldn’t totally change their game plans during a timeout and then go right out onto the floor and execute it. It was after Danny got traded to Sacramento and he said that if that team didn’t work on something in practice for three days, there was no way they could do it in a game. We could devise a whole new scheme in a timeout and then just go do it. I guess everybody on that Celtics team just had a good basketball mind.”
  • Bill Walton: “Everyone constantly thought basketball. Everyone always played a mental game. Even though we were a team that physically had the tools necessary to be at highest level of the game, it was the mental edge that allowed that team to be so special.”

9. Reason No. 893 Celtics guard Ray Allen is cool: While every other NBA player is seemingly shopping himself overseas or making headlines in exhibition games against questionable competition, the 3-point king works on his golf game as if it were just another off-season.

Last month, Allen played in Lake Tahoe. Two weeks ago, in Connecticut. Next week, in New Jersey at the Liberty Cup Charity Golf Tournament with golfer Natalie Gulbis and “Desperate Housewives” star Kyle MacLachlan. All for charity.

I guess that’s why Allen was cast as Jesus Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game” and not someone like Kobe Bryant (interesting tidbit: Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were reportedly approached for that role, but their agent wanted a guarantee that one of them would get the part).

8. As we’ve discussed previously, Austin Rivers and his Duke basketball teammates are traveling China and the United Arab Emirates, crushing every team in their path. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is also with the team to watch his son make fools out of people internationally. Dubai newspaper Gulf News caught up with the pair that hopes to soon become the third father-son NBA duo in history (Jan Van Breda Kolff and Butch Van Breda Kolff; Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.). Here’s what Doc had to say about his son and vice versa … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James
Delonte West releases latest track: ‘MJ Shwagg’ 08.25.11 at 12:17 pm ET
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When Delonte West isn’t applying to Home Depot, Sam’s Club or BJ’s, the free agent Celtics guard/rap star is promoting his “Lockout” mixtape by releasing tracks sporadically. First, we got ‘€œIt’€™s Bout 2 Go Down’€ and ‘€œMr. Magnificent.’€ Then “Livin’ Life Fast.” And now “MJ Shwagg” (h/t @Jose3030), complete with a Ray Allen reference. Enjoy, as long as you don’t mind the harsh language.

Oh, and if you like that, you’ll definitely enjoy Delonte’s recent Twitter rant about growing up in Virginia. I mean, what other athlete can you get gems like this from: “mike jordan didnt teach me to post up….an old drunk …did …wit a cigerett in his mouth…after he told pretty tonny to hold his beer”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Delonte West, NBA lockout, Ray Allen
10 Things I Heard About Celtics II 08.16.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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On another slow Celtics news day, there’s still plenty to learn about Boston’s green men. Here are 10 more C’€™s links of interest we discovered over the past 24 hours (the first “10 Things I Heard About Celtics” is here) ‘€¦

10. As SLAM noted, Celtics free agents and Louisiana natives Glen Davis and Von Wafer both made the top five plays from this past weekend’s Tournament of the Stars Basketball Clinic in Lake Charles, La. Big Baby’s post-clutch-3-pointer “big balls” dance is an instance classic, as is Wafer’s posterization. Both players would like to remain in Boston once the NBA lockout ends, and Wafer has already signed a one-year deal to play in Italy.

9. While every other NBA player tosses his name into the overseas rumor mill, Celtics captain Paul Pierce is content with his hobbies on vacation. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant‘s agents have been busy shopping him everywhere from China to Brazil, but Pierce can’t get enough poker, fishing and scheduling volunteer work — promoting his Truth on Health campaign on HGTV by making over his hometown Inglewood (Calif.) High’s athletic facilities on Aug. 20 and bowling with Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and Celtics free agent Glen Davis in the 5th Annual Beckett Bowl on Aug. 29.

Of course, Pierce will play overseas — for his country. He and Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley will help form a United States All-Star team at the Continental Club Championships in Beijing from Aug. 20-28. Somehow I doubt Pierce will be earning $375,000 or whatever it is Bryant is seeking per week for his China sojourn. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Austin Rivers, Boston Celtics, Carlos Arroyo, Delonte West
Would you take Paul Pierce over Kevin Garnett? 08.15.11 at 1:55 pm ET
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Every so often a question is posed regarding the Celtics‘ four All-Stars. In short: Which one is the most valuable/best/indispensable? What makes this question so intriguing is that there is a legitimate case to be made for all four.

Without Ray Allen‘s shooting ability the Celtics’ vaunted floor spacing begins to shrink and coach Doc Rivers loves to make use of Allen’s ability to use screens in their halfcourt sets.

Rajon Rondo is the playmaker, the only reliable point guard on the roster the last four years, and one of the few Celtics who can change pace and tempo with the flick of a switch. When Rondo has been out of the lineup — or gone through a prolonged slump — the Celtics inevitably struggle to score points.

Kevin Garnett is the defensive anchor and that doesn’t begin to do him justice. Simply put, when Garnett plays at the level he played at last season the Celtics defense is ferocious.

Then there is Paul Pierce, who does just about everything well and is the one player the Celtics reliably use to create his own shot when everything else breaks down.

You can go round and round in circles on this question and never come to a definitive answer, which is a large reason why this foursome has been so successful. Ubuntu may have been a clever rallying cry, but its tenets hold true for this collection of players. “I am what I am because of who we all are.” Take any one of these parts away and the whole suffers for it.

That’s why I watched with great interest as Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe unveiled his top 100 players list. One way or another Lowe would have to parse this group and assign a ranking. Lowe had Allen ranked 48th and Rondo 27th, which left the top spot to be decided between Garnett and Pierce. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen
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